Some last-minute Black Friday travel deals

Shopping for travel deals?

We listed a few highlights here and here over the past few days. Here are just a few more Black Friday travel deals we spotted in our inbox after our Thanksgiving meal.

Ryanair is offering a Buy One Get One Half Price offer.

Quick – sign up for The Club Airport Lounges newsletter. They’ve promised subscribers a code for a 25% Black Friday discount code good for three days.

British Airways is offering a Black Friday Vacation Sale.

Good, bad and just plain wacky air travel fees and amenities

Heading to the airport this holiday weekend? Check to make sure you’re up on the latest changes.


Shoes out of the bin, buddy!

Like what? Well, the TSA has decided that you still need to take off your shoes and send them through the X-ray machine, but now those shoes need to ride on the belt on their own, outside of the plastic bin.  Got that?

There are other changes to make note of. Some are good, some are bad and, as I outlined in my Well Mannered Traveler column this week on MSNBC.com, some are just plain wacky.  Here’s what I mean:

No Kiss ‘n Drop tax; for now

In April, London’s Luton Airport announced that it would soon be charging a fee for the privilege of dropping passengers off outside the terminal. That “Kiss ‘n Fly” tax is now on hold.


(O’Hare Airport has a Kiss n’ Fly drop-off spot with a free shuttle)

Ryanair’s “let just say everyone’s fat” tax

Ryanair was going to institute a large-passenger charge, but instead decided to just go ahead and charge everyone a new fee.  Print out your boarding pass before you go to the airport and you’ll pay a fee of about $5.  Forget to print out your boarding pass before you get to the airport and pay a much fatter fee of close to $60.  Ouch.

Loads of reasons to lighten your load

You’ll soon pay an extra fee on United and US Airways if you don’t go on-line and pre-pay the charge to check your luggage.  And Air Jamaica will soon begin taking your money for checking a second bag, but in return only promise to deliver it within seven days.

Pillows, snacks, fee-waivers, refunds, and perhaps a marriage proposal


There’s  some good news. Experts predict that on-line travel booking agencies will continue to waive booking fees. Air Canada may bring free pillows back.  And JetBlue is extending the “Lose your job, get your money back” program through the end of the year.

There’s more.  To find out about matchmaking flights and on-board weddings, see my Well Mannered Traveler column this week on MSNBC.com.

Travel tidbits: Nix the baggage handlers; MSP wind turbines; DTW’s ambulances

Would you load your own baggage?

baggageYou book online, you print out your own boarding pass, why not load your own luggage on the plane? According to a Reuter’s report:

Europe’s largest low-cost airline Ryanair is looking at the possibility of getting passengers to carry their luggage all the way to the plane, cutting out the need for baggage handlers.

“We would say to passengers… take your own bag down through airport security, leave it at the bottom of the steps, we put it in the hold and on arrival we deliver it to the aircraft steps and you take it with you,” CEO Michael O’Leary told a news conference on Thursday.

Good idea or not?

MSP going greener


Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is doing its part to save the earth – and some money – by installing and testing ten 1 kilowatt wind turbines

And the folks at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) had a little party to celebrate the arrival of these new ambulances, which will be put to use on the average half dozen or so EMS runs that occur at the airport daily.

dtw-ambulancesLet’s hope you don’t actually have to see the inside of one of these buses, but if you do it may be comforting to know that the word at the airport is that the stretchers are “awesome. Totally hydraulic. The firefighters don’t need to lift stretchers up and down when transporting a patient.”

Airlines AND airports want more of your money

Airlines have been piling on fees for everything from in-flight meals and pillows to checked baggage service and a tiny bit of extra legroom. And just yesterday, in a story I reported on for MSNBC.com, United Airlines announced new charges for ‘seatmates of size.’

wallet-with-moneyAfter toying with putting pay-boxes on airplane lavatories, travelers gave Ryanair 12,000 other ideas for “discretionary revenue charges.”  Voting ends tomorrow (Friday, April 17) for a winner from the top five. Choices include:  fees for toilet paper, a “corkage” fee for bringing your own food onboard, a subscription fee for the airline’s Web site, an access fee for an on-board smoking room and a surcharge for overweight passengers.

moneyNow airports are starting to explore charging extra fees. The UK’s Luton airport recently began charging drivers a passenger drop-off fee. And in my Well-Mannered Traveler column on MSNBC.com – Will Airports Fleece the Fliers? – I consider a few more: how about a gate limo, a bathroom attendant, or a security checkpoint concierge?

Ryanair asks: would you pay for toilet paper?

After alarming travelers with the ‘joke’ about on-board pay-toilets (don’t be surprised…), Ryanair officials asked travelers to send in their own ideas for other discretionary fees that could be charged.

They did.

As of today (April 14th) close to 45,000 votes have been cast.  And sadly, so far more than 20,000 people have voted in favor of charging excess fees for overweight passengers.

Other survey choices include charges for bringing your own food onboard, for using airplane toilet paper, and for smoking in a converted lavatory.  Click here to take the Ryanair survey.  The winning idea gets a cash prize. Voting closes Friday, April 17th.